The new season is fast approaching and I know that many members have enjoyed the relatively good winter season we have had.
The greens team have coped well with the planned winter projects. The new bunkers in particular are looking appealing (even without any eyelashes!) and have been constructed in such a way that they blend in extremely well with the surrounding topography. Given that we did the construction ourselves this time due to financial constraint, the results are especially pleasing and signify a huge achievement for Phil and especially Duncan who operated the digger and got stuck in with confidence from day one. The new bunkers will be open for play from Saturday 30th March. The team are currently finishing the bank and new path complex above the 4th green and then move on to reconstructing the path from the 13th tee next week.
The greens have overwintered well and are still very firm and true. Phil is well on with our planned spring treatment regime and our external consultants have expressed very positive comment on the condition of our greens compared to the average status in the central belt. We have decided not to do any intrusive greens maintenance this spring due to the experience of lengthy recovery periods of up to six/seven weeks from applying this practice over my time as greens convenor. The disruption and frustration among members at the start of the season when we turn good greens into bumpy sandy surfaces is just too much. However – the downside is that we will need to carry out a core and top dressing operation mid-summer to ensure that we maintain the now expected condition throughout the rest of the season. This maintenance activity is planned for week beginning 1st July. We know that the recovery time at this time of year will be a maximum of three weeks and I ask that members accept this as the best compromise.
Divot Repair Mix
As usual at this time of year I make an appeal for members to participate in using the divot mix provided at the first, eighth and thirteenth tees to repair and fill their fairway divots. I will be providing a number of new divot mix cups for use and return from the first tee notice board and am aware that a number of ‘enthusiasts’ have obtained their own divot mix cups. I would encourage everyone to obtain their own cup – ASDA have the cheapest ones around! Helping to do this by routine really helps to maintain and preserve the quality of our fairways.
Preferred Lies/Fairway Mats
Preferred lies are in operation on fairways through to Tuesday 30th April. The use of fairway mats will cease from Opening Day, Saturday 6th April, however, from Saturday 30th March to Friday 5th April, the use of fairway mats will be optional, allowing those members who want a practice off the turf prior to the season starting to get revved up – but mind those divots!!